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Further wait on underpass upgrade

08 Oct 2015

Further wait on underpass upgrade Image

$100 million restoration works to upgrade Flinders Street Station started last month, but the State Government says early works will not include refurbishing the underpass between Elizabeth St and Northbank.

Acting Premier and Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan visited the Melbourne icon last month to detail works to make the station safer, brighter and more user-friendly.

Stage one of the project, which will continue until March, will include upgrades to lighting, toilets and platform access as well as replacement of redundant departure and signage boards.

Urgent works to repair the building’s crumbling exterior and clock tower, and fix the leaky roof will also begin in the coming months.

However, Ms Allan confirmed that the long-awaited refurbishment to the Elizabeth St underpass would not be included as part of the early works.

Yarra River Business Association (YRBA) president elect John Forman has previously labeled the underpass a “disgrace” and said upgrading it should’ve been an early priority as part of the project.

“We welcome the announcement from State Government regarding the upgrade of Flinders Street Station,” he said. “The Elizabeth St underpass should be prioritised for urgent action.”

“The current poor standard of the underpass is an embarrassment to our great city and can’t be ignored.”

State Government spokesperson Bob Neilson said the refurbishment of the underpass would be addressed some time after March next year.

“The detailed scope of the works is still being finalised, so I don’t know exactly when, but the early works will run through to March next year,” he said.  “Any works to the underpass would begin after that.”

Ms Allan also announced that Major Projects Victoria had started work on a business case for the restoration of the interior of the administration building and its potential future use.

“It will consider a range of redevelopment options, including what could be done with the station’s historic, decaying ballroom,” she said.

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